Ellsworth Kelly - Color and Line

The link between nature as inspiration found in Ellsworth Kelly's work is intriguing. The way he used line in his plant sketches provokes emotion with the human element of imprecision. It is interesting that he uses these plant sketches as inspiration for his very abstract flat forms, as if in the sketches he is already flattening his view of the world.  

"His work was not based on a personal, individualistic expressiveness, nor did it reflect a system of affected design. His was a clear and concise language of abstraction, rooted in an artistic interrogation of plant forms," relays Nika Chilewich in article for Hyperallergenic.

A recent exhibition, Line & Color: The Nature of Ellsworth Kelly, at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena California shows how the artists abstract work grew out of it's relation to plant matter. 

"The plant drawings informed the abstracted shapes, just as much as he saw abstract shapes in plants. “I did not want to ‘invent’ pictures, so my sources were in nature, which to me includes everything seen,” the artist once said...His artwork continued along these intertwined paths for the entirety of his career."

In my own practice I continue to use plant matter as inspiration. I am intrigued by abstraction and the expression of the forms that have arisen in my pastel work are interesting, but I wonder how long they will persist. I have seen that my work in general becomes more substantial when it is grounded in a real perception of an object, even if it is from a book or the internet. 


Popular Posts